Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review: Sirens

Author: Janet Fox
Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Publisher: Speak
Series: Faithful # 3

When Jo Winter’s parents send her off to live with her rich cousin on the glittering island of Manhattan, it’s to find a husband and forget about her brother Teddy’s death. But all that glitters is not gold,. Caught up in the swirl of her cousin’s bobbed-hair set—and the men that court them—Jo soon realizes that the talk of marriage never stops, and behind the seemingly boundless gains are illicit business endeavors, gangsters, and their molls. Jo would much rather spend time the handsome but quiet Charles, a waiter at the Algonquin Hotel, than drape herself over a bootlegger.

But when she befriends a moll to one of the most powerful men in town, Jo begins to uncover secrets—secrets that threaten an empire and could secure Jo’s freedom from her family. Can her newfound power buy her love? Or will it to ruin Jo, and everyone around her?
“First they get the vote, and now women think they can go around taking jobs from men. Worse thing that ever happened to this country was when women got the vote. Dumb politicians.” – ARC Copy pg. 11 & 12
“I stopped on the sidewalk and looked up in wonderment at that brand-new pale stone building, with its sparkling glass windows and its dark green canopy, its carved fluted ornamentation. I thought I must’ve looked like Dorothy, gazing up open-mouthed at the Emerald City.” – ARC Copy pg. 35
“I buried my queasiness in a cup of tea and a plate of fresh biscuits smothered in butter and made by my aunt’s capable cook.” – ARC Copy pg. 50
“Girls like me, we had possibilities now, in this new decade of the twenties. We had the vote. We had our freedom…just look at Melody. My future was not so grim. New York City was the land of dreams.” – ARC Copy pg. 53
“I know all about the flapper doing. I know all about the…boys. She drinks too much alcohol – they all drink.” – ARC Copy pg. 81
“One week ago I was Josephine Anne Winter, high school student, who Ma had a ratty old raccoon coat and whose Pops dealt bootleg liquor under the cover of this small grocery shop. I was an old-fashioned girl in a middy blouse and a too-long skirt, with dark hair that reached her waist. Now I was Jo Winter, riding through the streets of New York at night in a chauffeured limousine with a couple of honest-to-goodness flappers and sporting a mink and a bob and a short silk dress.” – ARC Copy pg. 121

If I only I could have been a flapper…I would have rocked it! But in all seriousness, in the past year I have become fascinated with historical fiction based in the 1920’s. There is just something about this era that amazes me beyond belief. This book did not disappoint! Janet Fox captivated me with talk of gangster, bootleggers, and molls. I wanted to be in the book with Jo Winter and her gang of “bandits,” this is only my chosen term for them because I love the mischief that they always seem to land in. This story follows Jo Winter, as I mentioned, and a story that I cannot even begin to put into words. Her life is full of flappers, gangster, romance, and a whole lot of danger.

This book is written in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Jo and her flapper friend, Louise “Lou” O’ Keefe, long-time girlfriend of big-time gangster, Danny Conner. I really enjoyed reading the varying chapters from the perspectives of these two women. I have to say that I enjoyed both the same because even though I really liked Jo, I REALLY enjoyed Lou’s chapters. Lou’s chapters usually left on cliffhangers and they usually alluded to some type of danger that was lurking around the next bend. I did feel sorry for Lou because of her situation with Danny Conner, who I absolutely despised. I think that was the point though because he was the most powerful gangster in all of New York City, so yeah I think I should hate him. But Lou was just so caught up in the life of being a moll that she didn’t realize how ridiculous she sounded at times.  The chapters slowly unfold more and more secrets the deeper you get into the book. I love that! I love books that keep me hanging on!

Manhattan in the roaring 20’s felt so realistic to me while reading this book. I felt like I could just reach out and touch it, and I definitely wanted to be a part of it. Along with the characters and the mystery behind Teddy’s (Jo’s brother) disappearance I felt like a regular sightseer. I squinted my eyes when Danny Conner was around however, and the tension just flew right off the pages. I have read a lot about flappers, but not really a lot about gangster and I do have to admit that their lives and the lives of their girlfriends intrigue me. I must say that I used to love the bad boys! I thought that Janet Fox did a superb job of capturing this time period and the lifestyles of the flappers and the gangster. And if you are ready for a walk on the wild side, then please do go and pick up a copy of this book!!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by Janet’s wonderful publicist in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I still have to start this series but your review has me even more interested now. Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages